New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: For the first time in history, the mighty Airbus A340 has successfully landed on Antarctica’s icy territory making it a historic touchdown. A 7-minute clip of the landing is making rounds on the internet. The pilot and the crew covered 4630 kilometers back and forth. The flight made its touch down at Antarctica’s blue glacial landing strip known as Wolf’s Fang Runway.

According to the CNN report, the pilot Carlos Mirpuri, along with his crew took off from Cape Town, South Africa, on 2 November, and it took them over five hours to reach their destination. The team spent less than three hours on the ground in Antarctica. The crew is associated with Hi-Fly, which hires both aircraft and aircrew. The company also specialises in handling maintenance, logistics, and insurance work.

Watch video here:

First-ever landing on Antarctica’s icy territory

It is for the first time ever in history that an A340 landed at the Wolf’s Fang property, designated as a C-level airport. According to the pilot, the landing went smoothly. However, the only hurdle they faced was that the runway wasn’t easy to spot. Only skilled and highly specialized flying can attempt such a step because of the challenging conditions of the place.

“The cooler it is, the better,” wrote pilot Mirpuri in his log. “Grooving is carved along the runway by special equipment, and after cleaning and carving we get an adequate braking coefficient; the runway being 3,000 meters long, landing and stopping an A340 that heavy on that airfield wouldn’t be a problem.”

“The reflection is tremendous, and proper eyewear helps you adjust your eyes between the outside view and the instrumentation. The non-flying pilot has an important role in making the usual plus extra callouts, especially in the late stages of the approach,” Mirpuri added. 

With this, there is a ray of hope that passenger flights using larger jet aircraft can travel to Antarctica in the future and open up the continent for tourism activities. Though there is no official airport in Antarctica currently, there are 50 landing strips and runways.

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen